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Pet Safety: Don’t Leave Pets Unsupervised in Vehicles

For many pet owners, their furry, four-legged companion is an important member of the family, so it’s natural to want to include them in your lives, including trips in the car. There’s nothing wrong with bringing your pet along for a car ride, as long as you have no plans to make any stops, where you have to leave them alone in the car. Animals and hot cars just don’t mix.

Sadly, every year, hundreds of pets die from heat exhaustion because they are left in parked vehicles. In many cases, owners don’t see the safety concern because they “will be in the store for only a few minutes” or “the windows were left cracked.” However, it doesn’t take long for a car to heat up in warm temperatures. Temperatures inside a parked car can rapidly reach well over 38 degrees Celsius on a relatively mild day during the summer, even if the car is parked in the shade. And cracking the windows makes no difference.

A dog’s normal body temperature is about 39 degrees Celsius, and they can withstand a body temperature of 41 degrees Celsius for only a very short time before suffering serious illness, irreparable brain damage or even death.

Please leave your pets at home at home when you can. If leaving your pets is unavoidable, please ensure to plan trips that won’t result in the pet being left in the car, unsupervised.

If you see a family pet (or young child) left in an unattended car, you should take immediate action. If the location of the vehicle allows you to easily narrow down the whereabouts of the owner, consider attempting to reach out to them to retrieve their pet immediately. If it’s not clear where the owner is, how long they have been gone, or if the animal is showing visible signs of distress, call your local police for help. Taking the appropriate action immediately, could save a family pet (or child) from serious harm, or even death.

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